EVEN locked away, deep inside a women’s prison somewhere, the mother of a 12-year-old girl who was murdered by her step-father cannot escape the clutches and emotional manipulation of her evil ex-partner.
The woman, who cannot be identified, was in March jailed for at least 18 months after pleading guilty to manslaughter on the basis of “gross criminal negligence” over the death of her daughter, who was savagely beaten by her step-father over three days in September, 2015.
Dominated and manipulated by her partner, the woman did almost nothing to stop the brutal attacks and did not seek medical attention or raise the alarm despite other children in the house regularly being seen by doctors.
And on Tuesday in Newcastle Local Court, Magistrate Andrew Eckhold ruled the woman should not serve any additional jail time in relation to a similar case of negligence relating to the sustained beatings of her surviving daughter.
The girl, who was 10 when her sister died, had been tied to the bed and beaten, hit over the head with a metal spoon with such force that the spoon bent, thrown to the ground and had her arm broken, punched in the stomach until her ribs fractured and hit with a power cord among other savage forms of torture.
“There are incredibly complex competing interests in a matter of this kind,” Mr Eckhold told the woman.
“A custodial sentence is required but it is a matter where, due to subjective factors, it should be served concurrently with the sentence you are already serving.”
Mr Eckhold sentenced the woman to a fixed term of nine months in jail, expiring this month.
She is currently eligible for parole for the manslaughter offence in September, 2019.
As part of his submissions, solicitor Mark Ramsland handed Mr Eckhold a hand-written letter from the woman.
“It outlines that the co-offender is contacting her via another prisoner and some of the difficulties she has had with her incarceration,” Mr Ramsland said.
The letter revealed that her ex-partner had been writing to another inmate in the woman’s unit and had even sent the other inmate a picture of her son, which she kept pinned to her wall.
“She would often tell me to forgive him because in his letters he only said nice things about me,” the woman wrote. “He wrote her a letter to give to me but I told her to rip it. It felt like I couldn’t get away from him. I felt he was trying to control me through her.”
The girls’ step-father, who is serving a maximum of more than 37 years in jail for the murder of the 12-year-old girl, has pleaded guilty to assaulting her younger sister and will be sentenced in April next year.